Immersive “digital dome” theater has been with us for a good decade and is now well established to the tune of several hundred installations (including portable domes). It now has a trade group dedicated to digital domes: IMERSA, formally established in cooperation with IPS and the help of generous founding sponsors at Chicago’s IPS 2008 meeting last July.
Articles in Category: 2011 Archive
A digital dome (fulldome) theater can give the audience a sense of being in space without boundaries. Likewise, facilities with fulldome theaters are finding the presentation medium opens up their own boundaries—extending the possibilities of what a planetarium can do and perhaps even what it calls itself. The inherent versatility of fulldome paired with the resourcefulness of an institution’s educators and marketers equals a powerful combination able to create, recognize and make the most of opportunities.
In the eyesof special venue media producers and distributors, a significant new market is emerging – a network that includes 2D and 3D giant-screentheatersas well as fulldome, and connects the interests of planetariums and science centers. The two types of institutions already have a lot in common – such as similar missions and audiences, and a tilting toward the latest interactive and immersive exhibition technologies. But the sharing of content, facilitated by digital processes, is just getting started. It’s a marker of the “convergence” of giant screen cinema – which in educational institutions is still mostly a film-based medium - and fulldome digital video.
Museums of the Night Sky: Combining Fulldome Systems With Optomechanical Starballs for the Best of Both Worlds
Fading to gray is not an option
Fulldome systems provide new versatility under the planetarium dome, offering a universe of immersive, full-color visitor experiences through a growing library of playback content and the ability to navigate 3D databases in real time.
There is one thing we can say for certain about cinematic exhibition: change is afoot. Movie theaters are struggling to survive as attendance continues to drop. Creative chains are adding bowling alleys, lounges, and other innovations to maintain revenues. IMAX theaters have split into two camps: those in museums and standalone venues that show documentaries, destination films, and the occasional Hollywood film, and multiplex cinemas with (mostly) not-so-giant screens that run Hollywood films almost exclusively.